Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Takin' Care of Business

If you were wondering what that loud cheering sound coming from the north side of Chicago was at about 10 a.m. was... well, that was me cheering. I was on call for a lunch shift at the restaurant. I called at 10 and found they didn't need me-- no one had called in sick. That means I only work my night shift this evening, instead of a double, and had time to do the laundry list of errands I had. And I have all of tomorrow off!

The new job continues to go well. Yesterday, I ended up in a double section for a furious lunch shift. I pulled it off with no problem. The second half of my double shift was slow, but a slow shift there is still pretty good.

Until I get my laptop up and running, I can't post my own pictures. That may be just as well-- the view from the front and rear of our home looks like hell. The back yard continues to look like the Great White Trash Backyard, with piles of scrap and construction materials, with the sidewalk and patio torn out. Apparently there is some master plan to have professional landscaper come in and fix it all up. The catch is that it may take until October to finish. Sigh.

Then in the front, signs went up last week that parking was restricted from August 20 to 24; they're repaving. Cars left there would be towed to another street. I decided to make lemons into lemonade by bringing my Blazer in for a bunch of work that needed to be done-- oil change, fix the air conditioner, fix the windows on the passenger side-- neither will roll up and down properly. I figured that would get it off the street for a few days, and make Kim and the kids happy-- we'll probably be taking the Blazer up to Minnesota in a little over a week.

This morning the city workers came by and stripped the street. When I went out to take care of some errands, I talked to the supervisor, who said that it should be repaved in the next day or two. I've lived here for 9 years as of this month, and this is the third time the street's been repaved. This time, it really needed it-- they really tore it up with the equipment they brought in to fix the broken water main last winter.

In the course of my errands this morning, I opened up a savings account, something I haven't had in a long time. I set it up for money to be kicked in from my checking account every month, as well.

I also signed up for the "Pay By Touch" thing at Jewel's, our grocery store. I found out that unlike a debit, I'm not charged a fee every time I use it.

So for the rest of the week, I'll be waiting. I'll run up to Evanston on the el tomorrow to pick up my laptop, so I can pull the old hard drive out of it, and pop it in my new one, whenever it arrives. Hopefully my truck will be done in the next day or so as well. And then this weekend-- between my two jobs, I may be working 4 straight doubles. Grueling, but lucrative. It'll pay a lot of bills.

And then Monday, I start my class.

I got a little sad news yesterday. Toward the end of the lunch shift, one of the other servers approached me and said that one of his customers thought he knew me. I went to the table, and saw that Ron, one of my favorite regulars at Jury's, was sitting with a woman. Since he wasn't sitting with his partner, William, I had a pretty strong feeling that I was about to get some bad news. Ron introduced the woman, a friend and neighbor, and answered the question I had. His partner of 12 years, William, who had been my friend for about 20 years, had passed away recently of cancer. I'd known William had had some kind of long-term illness for some time-- he was obviously fatigued the last few years, and a couple of times when he and Ron had dinner in the restaurant, I had noticed one of those devices for delivering medicine attached to his arm.

I met William in the late eighties when we both hung out at the Gingerman Tavern, in Chicago. He was chatty and gregarious, and loved music like I did, and we became friends instantly. When I moved out of my Wrigleyville apartment, and became friends with my upstairs neighbors Connie and Lynn, I discovered, when I went to one of their parties (a "Breakfast At Tiffany's"-themed party), that they were also good friends with William.

When Adam was born, I stopped hanging at the Gingerman, and lost touch with William. I started working at Jury's, and got reacquainted when he and Ron started coming in to the restaurant. William's partner Ron, who is a hairdresser (yeah, I know, a gay hairdresser-- that's a first) is a great guy and I'm really glad William had Ron to take care of him after he fell ill.

I'm relieved that William's suffering is done, but I'll miss him.


Skylers Dad said...

Hey there JY! Been wondering about you, try not to burn the candle at both ends and center too much. There are only so many minutes in the days and you don't want to burn yourself out.

That is too bad to here about your friend William. Cancer is so sinister, it is a nasty way to go. You can only wish that the person goes quickly and without too much suffering.

BeckEye said...

What's a savings account?

I'm sorry about your friend.

Dale said...

That's very sad about your friend. I'm glad you're not going to be fried up by the new job today though.

Beth said...

I'm so sorry to read about William. He sounds like a lovely man.

GETkristiLOVE said...

That's some sad news.

But you do know absolutely everyone, don't you? Say hi to my dadE up in Evanston!

Bubs said...

Johnny, sorry to hear about your friend.

It's good to see you back, though. And congrats, again on the new job working well for you--grueling but lucrative is better than just plain grueling.

Grant Miller said...

I should really take my kids to see the Great White Trash Backyard.

cheer34 said...

when do you have a minute to yourself?

Alasdair said...

You have my condolence, Johnny.

Also, Jewel runs a supermarket? I knew she was kind of weird after that bubblegum album, but food, too? Que strange.

TA said...

Thanks for the news about William. So sad...I loved when those guys would come into Jury's...I have some great photos of them from my last night there. They also took me out a couple of times when I came back to visit. William was a wonderful man and will be missed. Love your blog. Good luck with classes and hope to see you next time I'm in town.